This morning Liam was playing hard in the living room, and I noticed that it had been a whole hour since he’d gotten up. He still hadn’t had breakfast. I said, “Liam, would you like some cereal?”
“Cereal!” he exclaimed, and ran to take my hand and lead me into the kitchen. As I went I exchanged a startled look with HRH.
“Wow, that was really clear,” HRH said. “How long has he been saying that?”
“He hasn’t,” I said. “That was the first time.”
He’s linking more words together, too. The other day one of his books slipped off the chesterfield where he was reading it. “Uh-oh,” he said, looking up at us; “fell down.” “Uh-oh” has become a frequently-used saying. Sometimes he just wanders down the hall saying “Uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh,” which is mildly amusing once you’ve gotten over the kneejerk “What’s happened?” reaction. In fact, Sandra Boynton’s Red Hat Green Hat board book is known in this house as the “uh-oh” book. Every time he looks at the turkey, who incorrectly wears the item of clothing the page features, he says “Uh-oh!” It’s hilarious. He also says “Wow!” a lot, sometimes caroling “Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!” when something neat happens. “Door” is seeing a lot of use, as is “diaper”, and “shell” is tied with “coffee” for oddest new word this month. The other major new word he’s using is “clock”. He points them out all over the place.
Recently Liam has developed the habit of grabbing an adult’s hand to lead them somewhere, which is very sweet. The only problem with this develops when he tries to take both my and HRH’s hand while facing us, and then turn around to walk us in a different direction. His arms end up crossing over his head, or our arms get tangled up above him, which makes walking difficult for everyone involved! He’s also taken to dragging his bunny around behind him, sometimes hanging it upside down over his shoulders. Odd, but very cute. Sometimes he pulls the blanket out from his crib and walks around with that too, just in case he decides to lie down, I suppose. One likes to be prepared. (Perhaps this is why he hides crackers and raisins inside his little boxes, too. Come the singularity, we’ll all be sorry we didn’t set up food caches the way Liam has.)
Liam is currently obsessed with raisins, bananas, and applesauce, all of which he can ask for. “Cracker” is now crystal-clear. (He is also obsessed with the tea cosy, for some reason, and will grab it off the sideboard if he can. It amuses him.) When he eats, he usually makes what the Preston-Leblanc household calls “yummy noises”. “Mmm, mmm, mmm,” he’ll say expressively as he eats or drinks. It’s good to see someone enjoy their food so much. He pulled the container of tropical fruit juice out of the fridge the other day without either HRH or I noticing, and wandered away with it under his arm. Then he came back holding it out to us, frustrated because he couldn’t get the screw cap off. We laughed, then we got him a cup for it. He learned how to drink through a straw the other day when Arthur was over, which was really neat. And he eats like a small horse, so when he decides he’s not interested in finishing his meal — it’s rare, but it happens — we obsess for a bit over what might be wrong. But all that happens is he asks for extra milk and that’s that.
He finally figured out that the three cups he plays with in the bathtub stack together. Now he very carefully pulls them apart, watches them float in the bubbles for a while or tries to stuff ducks into them, then tries to put them back together. He gets them in the right order about half the time, too, which means that the other half of the time he tries to put a bigger one inside a smaller one, and looks very woeful when it doesn’t work.
Liam figured out how to open DVD cases a while ago, but now he’s figured out how to take the DVDs out. So all his DVDs are now in a multi-disc case up on a shelf, and the empty cases are on his shelf to play with — like a video store, as Julia pointed out the other day, where you take the empty case to the clerk and they give you the DVD. This is all well and good, but then he realised that our DVDs still have discs in them. Now our DVDs are all jammed as tightly as possibly into their shelves so he can’t pull them out, and what he does instead is run his fingers along the spines and look at the little pictures on them. He particularly loves the picture of Stitch on the Lilo & Stitch case, and the picture of Nemo on Finding Nemo. Speaking of which, we had to replace his toothbrush so I got him a Nemo brush, and he loves it. He loves getting his teeth brushed in general, which is a good thing. In fact, he loves it so much that sometimes if he gets his hands on his hairbrush, he tries to get it into his mouth after he brushes his hair. (We don’t let him handle his toothbrush for very long any more because after he pokes it around his teeth for a while he tries to brush his hair with it too, toothpaste and all.)
He has a new way of dancing. Instead of just bouncing in place, now he moves his feet in a little shuffle while smiling a huge smile. And he’s singing more now, too. “La la la la,” he’ll say in a little sing-song voice, especially if we’ve just sung something ourselves. And Liam’s becoming very good at bowing the cello; he keeps a nice weight on the arm, producing good tone. I do the fingering for him: it’s a cooperative effort. He keeps time very well too, but he only plays quarter notes in an andante four-four so far. I’ll get triplets out of him yet.
He is such a terrific kid. He’s so happy; he runs around singing and laughing, shares his food and toys, tries very hard to explain to us what he wants and gets cranky only as a last resort. He explores and asks questions and applies new skills all over the place to see what happens. He’s fun to be around. He’s definitely now down to one longer nap in the middle of the day, and he’s still sleeping a good twelve hours at night. When we cuddle in the chair before bedtime and he gets drowsy in my arms, I want to curl up in bed with him, my arms around him and his warm little body snuggled against mine. I’m looking forward to the time when his crib becomes the toddler bed so that I can snuggle with him for a while, because our bed isn’t a sleepy place for him as that’s where he comes sometimes to read books and play a bit on morning weekends before we officially get up. He’s a busy little guy, so long quiet snuggles don’t happen a lot. And quiet snuggles are different from the enthusiastic throwing of oneself at a parental figure. Both make the heart smile, but one makes you rejoice to see the life and love, and the other makes you count blessings as you touch pure peace.